Archive for the ‘Green Tip of The Day’ Category

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Tree Huggin’ Revisited

This is a post I wrote 3 years ago…just revisiting

I am all about the tree huggin.  I know that might be hard to tell from my blog…but I am a tree hugger from way back.  A little more diligent at times but my heart has always been huggy.  This morning I got a very interesting email about Victory Gardens.  I really love the whole concept.  Victorious of what?  Who cares.  It brings up thoughts of community and playing in the dirt and growing your own.  Michelle Obama has planted one, or had one planted might be a better way of putting it.  I doubt a busy woman such as herself was out in the 100 degree weather like I was yesterday, tying up tomatoes! Frankly I think she looks a bit overdressed for gardening.

0320_michellegardens_460x276Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

But likely having not done much gardening previously, she might not have realized the VERY expensive black leather boots might be overdressed.  Or this might have been a photo-op.  Nawwww.  Look, before you think I am ragging on Mrs. Obama.  I love the couple.  And the children.  LOVE them.  Voted for them.  Support them.  And think her promoting gardening and growing your own is FANTASTIC.  I was just having a little fun.  If my calves were than skinny, I’d have a pair of those boots too.  But anyway, the gardening seems to be going well at the White House and the First Lady seems to be getting the hang of “gardening attire”:

MichelleObama_WhiteHouseKitchenGarden_April9You go girl!  Get those knees muddy!

But back to my email.  The Queen now has an allotment at Buckingham Palace.  GET OUT! Copy cat. Kidding again. I LOVE THE QUEEN. Love her.  Love her country.  Love her palace…I have been there you know.  I have pictures to prove it.  The movie The Queen made me cry like a baby.  I won’t get into all the reasons why but, I was touched.  But I do believe Mrs. Obama might have had a bit of influence.  You can read all about it here: The White House Organic Farm Project ~very interesting website.

PD*29463063Image from the Telegraph

The email linked to an article here that went so far as to call The Queen frugal. I am happy to hear that but wonder exactly what that means in royal circles. Anywho, back to the gardening.  In the UK allotments are evidently growing in popularity by leaps and bounds.  Considering they have a very limited amount of free space for gardening, I am impressed.  Husband works with several Brits and they talk gardening.  He told me a bit about the allotment thing.  VERY foreign to me, since we have 3.5 acres to mow every other week!  Our garden is as big as we would like it.  And quite enough for me to tend to while Husband is away at work.

I am curious as to how many of you plant and tend a little spot?  A big spot?  I have left you with some VERY interesting links this morning.  Happy Reading and Go Hug a Tree!



Guest Post! Sofia’s Dream – a book every child needs to have read to them!

A note from NotQuiteJuneCleaver: This is a VERY special post this lovely Tree-hugging Tuesday! Thank you Dani – you are a lifesaver and this book is BEAUTIFUL!

Like any author, Land Wilson was influenced by many people. As a young child, he met someone whose teachings and passion for nature would forever affect his life.  He had the privilege of getting to know the world-acclaimed naturalist/teacher and conservationist, Elizabeth Terwilliger.  She was a generous neighbor who gave nature tours to the area children, creating cherished memories for them all.  Mrs. T., as the kids fondly referred to her, would go on to receive many national awards including being honored in 1984 at the White House for her 40 years of volunteer work teaching children about nature.
Sofia's Dream Mrs. Terwilliger with William, Daphne & Anna

The more Land learned about nature over the years, the more he learned that the health of our environment was at the mercy of human beings. His interviews with astronauts and their comments about seeing the precious, beautiful Earth from space led him to write a story about a little girl who dreams of visiting the Moon. In Sofia’s Dream the Moon helps her see her home through his wise and somewhat sad eyes. Little Sofia feels moved to do everything she can to help the planet when she awakens.

In the author’s Earth Talks with Kids at school assemblies, he says the message in the book is for people of every age. His hope is that grown-ups also come away with something from Sofia’s Dream. []


The story brings Mrs. T. and Land’s growing up full circle, too. His best friend in the neighborhood was Sandro, whose daughter is now best friends with Land’s daughter, Georgia. And Sandro’s daughter is Sofia. Mrs. T. would likely be delighted by that!

We hope we’ve piqued your interest in this sweet lullaby story written for children. The publisher, Little Pickle Press, is committed to environmental stewardship, and the books are printed and shipped in an environmentally friendly manner using recycled paper, soy inks, and green packaging. [] They also donate 10% of proceeds to Starlight Children’s Foundation.

And there’s more! If you’d like to participate in a drawing for the book, leave your name and email address in the comments here.

There is also a grand prize drawing all week for a cute pickle-green iPod Shuffle.

Ipod shuffle Capture

Go to the Little Pickle Press blog and sign up there for a chance to win! Also included are the original tunes from Little Pickle Press created for the book titles. Directions on how to enter are at the blog. []


Happy Hallowe ‘en Week!

I was just chatting with my brother and ask him if he was as fond of Hallowe’en as I am.  It holds some of my most vivid memories from my childhood.  I remember one in particular when I was in second grade and I am not sure it was so much the fact that I was so excited about the fun and decorating and dressing up and candy as much as I remember a particular lesson I learned one day at school.  It was party day.   Mom was always room mother for my class. Always.  And she never did anything half way so the parties were amazing.  We lived on the same block as the elementary school, on the opposite corner.  So I walked to and from school.  This was back in 1966 and I so wish I had all the decorations my mom had from back then.  Anyway, that afternoon was our Hallowe’en party and Mom came to the classroom and asked for me to be allowed to pick someone to walk back down to our house and bring back the drink pail.  My mom had a big black garbage can that she had iced down orange sodas for all the kids and it would take two second graders will all their strength to grab each handle and carry it back up the block.  I stood up,  walked to the front of my classroom, took my place between my teacher, Mrs. Farquhar and my mom and looked out over a sea of children out of their seats with their hands flailing about and the voices all at a fevered pitch “Me! ME! Pick ME!”.  I stood there for what seemed like forever when I noticed a little boy named Lesley sitting very still and looking out the window not saying a word.  He knew in his heart he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of being picked so he didn’t even bother to raise his hand.  Lesley was the saddest little boy I had ever known.  Granted I was 7 but he made an impression on me the first time I  saw him.  My impression was not a good one.  He almost never went a day without being in some sort of trouble.  He was failing second grade which was something I found hard to accept since I got questioned about an A minus.  So there he sat.  Finally he turned his head and looked at me.  I can see this as if it were this morning.  I finally said in a very quiet voice “I pick Lesley.”  I wish you all could have seen his face.  Surprise.  Fear.  And sheer joy.  He sprang up out of his desk and come stood beside me, his chest out, the biggest grin on his face and grabbed my hand and my mom’s hand and off we went.  I remember thinking as I looked down at our hands and at him holding my mom’s hand, that is the dirtiest hands I have ever seen!  And if you only knew what a clean freak my mom was and how particular she was with me and my brothers you would know what a special moment this was.  But neither Mom nor I pulled away, we just looked at each other and she winked and smiled at me letting me know she very much approved of my choice.  We left a room full of kids talking amongst themselves, each of them just as surprised or more so than Lesley.  And me for that matter. Surprised that I had the guts to pick him.  Surprised that I had the guts to NOT pick my best friend Beth who I knew was going to be irate!  We walked all the way back to my house without a word from either of us though my mom asked Lesley questions and tried to make him less nervous.  We grabbed up the pail, one on each side and it was heavy!  The first time he really spoke was to say “I can carry it by myself.” My mom insisted we carry it together and we took off back towards the school her right behind with more goodies.  Lesley strode into that classroom, chest out, his dirty little face covered in the biggest smile.  We sat the pail down and he strutted back to his seat and plopped down so proud.

I have no idea why I did that.  I don’t know where it came from or what possessed me to do it.  I just knew it is something that was right.  And my mom and dad would be pleased with my boldness among my peers who were not kind to this poor little boy.  Ever.  He had a hellish life at home, you could tell and then a hellish life at school.  For the rest of the school year he was my shadow.  And I just had to grin and bear him handing me my fork in the lunch line.  Each time I looked at his hand, his dirty hand, and not today’s dirt but who knew when that child had been bathed, washed his hands or brushed his teeth, wrapped around my fork, I just had to swallow hard, hold my head high, accept his help and accept the comments I was going to get from my friends.  Most of whom thought I was completely crazy for having anything to do with him.  But I have always been strong willed and never allowed anyone to bully me.  And frankly, I think it might have made his life a little easier at school.  It seemed he was not in as many fights or maybe that he was trying a little harder to be likable.

Our paths crossed very little after that year.  I would see him on the playground in the lunch lines but we didn’t talk and finally went our separate ways.  I have always wondered what happened to him.  I know he was injured at school once in Jr. High when he made a volcano for a science exhibit and brought gasoline to make it explode.  Thankfully he didn’t blow up anyone else in the process.  After that I moved away and I have no idea how his life turned out.  But unless some major things changed for him, I doubt it has been very good.

Wow, where was I going with all this??? OH yeah!  Happy Hallowe’en Week and my mom could throw one heck of a school party!

Since it is Tree-Hugging Tuesday, here’s  a few  green Hallowe’en tips: if you’re the non-traditional type, try stocking up on healthy treats: organic dried fruit, granola bars, and popcorn packets all work (and come individually packaged, so even the most discerning parents won’t trash them for safety reasons). also offers a list of non-food ideas, like hair barrettes (which you could make yourself), seed packets, small toys made from recycled plastic, stickers, and soy crayons.

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